Review: Off the Hook by Laura Drewry (Fishing for Trouble #1)

Note: This ARC was provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept in exchange for an honest review.

Bestselling author Laura Drewry's first novel in her new Fishing for Trouble contemporary romance series, Off the Hook, was off the chain! (See what I did there?) The author's Friends First series was enjoyable, but based on this new series starter, this trilogy about the O'Donnell brothers--Ronan, Liam, and Finn--is going to blow its predecessor out of the water. (Oops, I did it again. Fishing equals water. Yeah. Moving on...) I was hooked (Damn, I'm on a roll with the puns today.) from the get-go with the story of two people who met ten years ago, formed an immediate and undeniable connection, got married, and then one filed for divorce. All of that in a span of five days in Vegas. And while there's a saying that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, that decade-old event between a then-aspiring baseball pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and a high school dropout with a less than appealing job comes to light when the now-injured ball player and the now-aspiring property development employee cross paths again at The Buoys.

The last person Liam O'Donnell expects to find making her way towards him is his ex-wife, but then he and Kate Hadley were barely married a day before he decided to walk away from her and a future together because his life was focused on one thing: playing major league baseball. Ten years later, however, and Kate is still the only woman to make Liam feel as everything is going to be alright in his world. The manner in which he ended things deserves not just an apology but an explanation, especially since Liam and Kate will have to work together over the next few weeks. Still recuperating from his injured throwing arm, Liam still hopes of playing baseball, but surrounded by both good and bad memories of his time at The Buoys and having Kate around him all the time, Liam is beginning to wonder about life beyond baseball. The nagging feeling that he made a mistake when he divorced Kate continues to hound him, but he needs to keep in mind that the woman he could never forget may be working to take away The Buoys from them all.

As much as her feelings for Liam are as potent as ever, Kate can't forget that Liam walking out on her a decade ago had her in limbo for a while and she can't risk the potential for her finally being given a promotion--even if it may mean becoming the manager of the O'Donnell family-owned fishing resort called The Buoys. But the more Kate sees how hard Liam and his brothers and their family friend slash unofficial sister are working to bring The Buoys back to its glory, the closer she gets to all of them, and the more the more difficult it becomes for her to keep her personal feelings separate from her professional ambitions. She's becoming invested, not just in the place itself, but in the people involved, especially Liam. However, he's made no secret over his desire to return to professional baseball, and while she knows just how good he is and how deserves his shot at a comeback, Kate isn't sure if her heart will be able to survive being left behind yet again by the man she fell in love with in Vegas, and the only man she still loves today.

I loved everything about this book. It didn't play out in the way I was expecting, keeping me on my proverbial toes with how Kate and Liam handled their unexpected reunion and the fact that they didn't immediately act on their rekindled attraction. This was a second chance romance that made me smile like the satisfied bookaholic that I am. Kate and Liam made their respective mistakes during the first and second rounds of their relationship, but there was no doubting their feelings for one another. I adored them as a couple and they were likable as individuals. Then there was Liam's family, especially Finn who was featured more prominently here than eldest brother Ronan, and Jessie Todd, the family friend and Buoys employee who has become more of a sister to the three boys (though I suspect she could end up with either Finn or Ronan and whoever's left over could be paired with Olivia, Kate's friend). Suffice it to say, I'm smitten with this series, excited for what's next, and highly recommend Off the Hook. Five stars! ♥

Date Read: 16 April 2016

Learn more about Laura Drewry.

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